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Our Rich Heritage

The Prebendal is the oldest school in Sussex and probably dates back to the foundation of Chichester Cathedral in the 11th century.

It was re-founded in 1497 by Bishop Edward Storey who attached it to the Prebend of Highleigh in Chichester Cathedral and thus gave its present name. Originally, the School would have been a ‘Song School’ for the Cathedral Choristers – a tradition that is central to the ethos of The Prebendal today as the Choristers continue to live and learn at the School. The Prebendal was also one of the first schools to become co-educational in the 1970s and girls arrived in 1972. The School has since developed into a thriving community for day and boarding boys and girls aged three to 13.

The charming 13th century school house, with its historic narrow tower still stands in West Street. Long Dorm, on the top floor contains 300 year old panelling and three adjoining 18th century houses have been added.

Over the years, The Prebendal has added further extensions and also uses the East Wing of the Bishop’s Palace which is next door to the main school buildings. The younger children of the School, in the Pre-Prep, used to attend Northgate House in Chichester but they have been housed in a modern and purpose-built building on the main site called Highleigh since September 2012.

Read more historical facts about The Prebendal School.

“The main dorm has an unusual vaulted ceiling and comparisons with Hogwarts are irresistible.” The Good Schools Guide

“As an historian at heart and by training, I was always profoundly conscious of belonging to a school whose origins could be traced back to the Middle Ages, of being heir to traditions that were almost timeless.”
- A History of The Prebendal School, Neville Ollerenshaw